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2016 - First Quarter

Table of Contents
April 1, 2016

Trials This Quarter

Bicycle Trials

Peterson v. Bauman, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV16782

Plaintiff Peterson was riding a bicycle on SE Stark Street when she was hit from behind by Defendant Bauman who was driving under the influence of alcohol. Peterson alleged that she suffered injuries to her legs, arms, torso, back, hips, SI joint, neck and shoulders. She sought damages including $19,035.00 for past medical expenses and $530,000.00 for non-economic damages. Bauman admitted liability but disputed the cause, nature and extent of Peterson’s injuries. Verdict - $339,035.00.

Medical Malpractice Trials

Stoffer v. Starr, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV11295

This was a dental malpractice case. Plaintiff Stoffer had two dental implants placed by Defendant Starr. He alleged that the implants were improperly placed and will need to be removed. Stoffer further alleged that he will require subsequent bone grafting and replacement of the implants. He sought damages including future dental expenses totaling $19,902.00 and non-economic damages of $350,000.00. Defendant Starr claimed that the implants were properly placed and that Stoffer refused to complete his treatment. Defense Verdict.

Wong v. Portland Adventist Medical Center, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV13575

Decedent Wong went to Defendant Portland Adventist Medical Center (PAMC) suffering from pneumonia and respiratory failure. While there, Wong was put on a feeding tube. Plaintiff alleges that the feeding tube was negligently placed and that complications from the placement caused Wong’s death.  Plaintiff sought $500,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant PAMC claims that Wong was suffering from end-stage Parkinson’s disease which ultimately led to his death and  any complications related to the feeding tube neither caused or contributed to Wong’s death. Defense Verdict.

MVA Trials

Ramsdell v. Volker and Multnomah County, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV01292

Defendant Volker was on duty as a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Deputy when she ran a red light and struck another driver, Plaintiff Ramsdell. Ramsdell alleged that the crash caused her to suffer soft tissue injuries to her neck, back, shoulder and hand as well as contusions to her chest and abdomen. She sought $965,000 in non-economic damages. Defendants Volker and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office admitted liability and that Ramsdell was injured but disputed the nature and extent of her injuries. Verdict - $415,000.00.

James v. Reser’s Fine Foods, Multnomah County Case No. 1402-01652

Plaintiff James was a passenger in a minivan that stopped for traffic on I-84.  The semi-truck driver for Defendant Reser’s was behind James and failed to stop. After the crash James complained of neck, back and chest pains. She was life-flighted to Portland where she spent two days in the hospital.  She alleged accident-related injuries including a traumatic brain injury with severe cognitive impairment, neck/back strains, chest bruising and PTSD. She sought $125,513.33 for past medical expenses, $150,000.00 in future medical expenses, $86,000.00 for past lost income, $109,000.00 for lost future earning capacity and $3,250,000.00 in non-economic damages.  Her husband  sought $250,000.00 for loss of consortium.  Defendant admitted liability for the crash but disputed the nature and extent of Mrs. James’ injuries.  They argued that the impact in the crash was minimal and that Mrs. James had a long history of physical and psychological problems including cognitive impairment.  Verdict – $170,654.75.

Carter-Campbell v. King, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV10074

Plaintiff Carter-Campbell was stopped for traffic on the off-ramp of I-205 when she was hit from behind by Defendant King.  Carter-Campbell alleged that the crash caused a tear in her shoulder labrum which required surgery as well as strains and sprains in her neck and back. She sought $76,000 in past medical expenses, $25,000 in lost wages and $250,000 in non-economic damages. Defendant King admitted that she caused the crash by following too closely.  She contested the nature, extent and relatedness of Carter-Campbell’s injuries. Verdict – $99,978.03.

Knipe v. Curtis-E Carpets, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV19616

Plaintiff Knipe was stopped at a red light when she was rear-ended by a driver working for Defendant Curtis-E Carpets.  Plaintiff alleged that the crash caused injury to the muscles, nerves and ligaments surrounding her spine and jaw as well as headaches and apprehension. She sought damages including  medical expenses totaling $6,407.00 and non-economic damages of $225,000.00. Defendant Curtis-E Carpets denied every allegation in Knipe’s complaint. Verdict – $82,842.00.

Motresku v. Olsen, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV16037

Plaintiff Motresku was driving on Glisan when Defendant Olsen ran the stop sign at 165th and struck Motresku.  Motresku alleged that Olsen was negligent for running the stop sign and being under the influence of alcohol.  She alleged the crash injured her neck, back, shoulders, wrists, hip and leg.  She also alleged post concussive symptoms. She sought unreimbursed medical expenses totaling $2,865.15, unreimbursed wage losses of $1,008.00 and $150,000 in non-economic damages. Defendant Olsen admitted she was negligent but only for running the stop sign.  Olsen disputed the nature and degree of Motresku’s injuries. Verdict – $58,873.15.

Law v. Medley, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV18960

Plaintiff Law was driving on Highway 30 in the left lane of southbound traffic.  Defendant Medley was directly behind Law.  Another driver – Hobizal – was in the right hand southbound lane and pulled in front of Law and suddenly braked. Law was able to stop in time but Medley was not.  Medley struck Law and pushed him into Hobizal.  Law initially brought this action against both Medley and Hobizal who in turn sued each other.  Before trial Law settled with Hobizal.  Hobizal remained on the verdict form for the purposes of comparative negligence. Law claimed crash related injuries including neck and back strains/sprains and severe and recurrent headaches.  He sought $23,958.21 for past medical expenses, $12,000.00 for future medical care, $15,847.58 for lost wages and $100,000 for non-economic damages. Defendant Medley claimed that Hobizal’s negligence was the cause of the crash.  He also disputed Law’s damages. Verdict – $40,125.00.

Masic v. Nicholas, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV06533

Plaintiff Masic was driving into the Canyon tunnel on highway 26 when Defendant Nicholas struck him while changing lanes.  The collision caused Masic’s car to overturn and slide approximately 30 yards on its roof. Masic claimed that the crash caused injuries to his head, neck and back including an intracerebral hemorrhage. He sought $11,336.00 in medical expenses, $1,908.00 in lost wages and $90,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant Nicholas admitted liability and the reasonability of his medical expenses and wage losses, but disputed Masic’s non-economic damages. Verdict – $38,244.00.

Leonnig v. Atkisson et al., Multnomah County Case No. 14CV19328

Plaintiff Leonnig was stopped for traffic when he was hit from behind by Defendant Atkisson.  Atkisson was in the course and scope of his employment with Defendant Jungelz Furniture.  Leonnig alleged that Atkisson was driving under the influence of alcohol while on the job and at the direction of his boss, Defendant Jungel, who was in the passenger seat. Leonnig alleged accident-related soft tissue injuries to his neck, back and shoulder.  He sought $13,000 for past medical expenses, $130,000 in future medical expenses and $200,000 in non-economic damages. Defendants admitted liability and causation but disputed the nature and degree of Leonnig’s damages. Verdict – $25,651.00.

Corona v. Guilliam, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV20203

Plaintiff Corona was driving in the far left lane of I-5.  Defendant Guilliam was driving the same direction in the far right lane.  When Guilliam attempted to move into the middle lane, he collided with another car which spun out and struck Corona’s vehicle.  Corona alleged that Guilliam was negligent for making an unsafe lane change and failing to keep a proper lookout.  He claimed injuries including back and knee sprains and contusions as well as emotional distress.  Corona sought $11,810.00 for past medical expenses and $35,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant admitted liability but contested the cause and degree of Corona’s damages. Verdict – $23,120.00.

Battaglini v. Busby, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV18952

Plaintiff Battaglini was stopped on Freemont Street with her left turn signal on waiting for oncoming traffic to clear when she was struck from behind by defendant Busby.  Battaglini claimed that the crash caused her to suffer lower back strains/sprains with disc displacement, neck sprains/strains, tailbone pain, left foot sprain / strain, headaches, post traumatic stress and emotional shock. Battaglini sought $21,981.96 for past medical expenses and $170,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant admitted liability but contested the cause and degree of Battaglini’s damages. Verdict – $17,736.00.

Alameri v. Tillman, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV16234

Plaintiff Alameri was struck from behind by Defendant Tillman. Alameri alleged injuries including a herniated disk at C6-7 which requires future surgical repair, neck, back and knee injuries as well as post traumatic headaches. He sought $7,425.20 in past medical expenses, $99,700.00 in future medical expenses and $250,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendants admitted liability.  They argued that this was a very low speed, minimal property damage car crash and that that the disc herniation was not caused by the crash and was not even diagnosed until a year later. Verdict – $6,632.42.

Lacey v. Hofer, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV11460

Plaintiff Lacey was travelling westbound on SE Powell Boulevard when she came to the intersection of Powell and SE 10th.  She intended to take a left turn.  She claimed that traffic was backed up in the eastbound direction which left her a gap to make a left turn across the oncoming traffic lanes.  She alleged that Defendant Hofer was in the eastbound lane stopped behind the vehicles that were creating a gap at the intersection.  As Lacey started her left turn Defendant Hofer, who was travelling eastbound, tried to pass around the eastbound cars on the right shoulder.  Hofer’s car struck Lacey’s on the passenger side.  Lacey claimed that Hofer was negligent for speeding and passing on the right shoulder.  She claimed injuries to the soft tissue of her neck and back.  She sought $79,463.72 for past and future medical care as well as $87,350.00 in non-economic damages. Hofer claimed that she had the right of way when Lacey turned directly in front of her causing the crash.  She denied passing on the right shoulder of the road. Defense Verdict.

Rosenthal v. Robinson, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV19911

Plaintiff Rosenthal alleged that he was traveling east on NE Division Street when Defendant Robinson, who was travelling west on NE Division, made a left turn across his lane of travel.  Rosenthal claimed that he had a green light and Robinson had a yellow arrow.  He claimed accident-related injuries including a scaphoid fracture to his wrist which will require future surgery.  He sought $12,871.43 for past medical expenses, $24,125.67 for future medical expenses, $1,634.00 for lost wages and $500,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant Robinson alleged that he had the green light and that Rosenthal ran a red light causing his own injuries. Defense Verdict.

Abdi v. Van Tran, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV00944

This was a defense appeal from an arbitration award for Plaintiff. Plaintiff Abdi was driving westbound on Division Street when she slowed to take a right turn onto I-205 and was struck by Defendant Van Tran.  Abdi claimed that Van Tran was negligent for following too close.  She claimed unspecified injuries to her back, neck, shoulder and leg.  She sought $10,000.00 in non-economic damages and attorney fees pursuant to ORS 20.080. Defendant Van Tran denied that he was negligent and argued that Abdi pulled into his lane without signaling and struck Van Tran’s vehicle. Defense Verdict.

UM/UIM Trials

Coyote v. GEICO, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV19058

This was an underinsured motorist case. Plaintiff Coyote was struck from behind by a motorist with $25,000.00 policy limits.  Defendant GEICO was Coyote’s insurance carrier. Coyote had $100,000 underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) with Defendant. Coyote made a claim to the UIM benefits and was denied by GEICO. Coyote alleged that the crash caused her to injure her neck and back including a cervical disc herniation requiring surgery. She sought $9,279.00 in past medical expenses, $70,000.00 in future medical expenses and attorney fees pursuant to ORS 742.061. GEICO disputed Coyote’s injuries, the need for surgery and the amount of Coyote’s damages. Verdict - $75,000.00. The Court awarded plaintiff $45,000 in attorney fees pursuant to ORS 742.061.

Wallace v. Mutual of Enumclaw, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV03273

Plaintiff Wallace was stopped for traffic when the car behind her was rear-ended, causing it to collide with her car.  Wallace sustained a neck injury in the crash which required surgery. Wallace settled her claim with the at-fault driver for policy limits of $25,000.  She brought this action for underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage.  She sought $40,251.43 in past medical expenses, $50,000 in future medical expenses and $150,000 in non-economic damages. Wallace brought a second claim for breach of contract related to denied personal injury protection (PIP) coverage of medical expenses totaling $15,290.12.  Plaintiff sought attorney fees pursuant to ORS 742.061. Defendant Mutual of Enumclaw argued that some of the bills submitted to PIP were properly denied as they related to care that was not reasonable, necessary and related to the car crash.  Defendant also disputed the amount of Wallace’s damages. Verdict - $126,112.24. The Court awarded plaintiff $95,000 in attorney fees pursuant to ORS 742.061.

Other Trials

Magui v. Portland Community College, Multnomah County Case No. 15CV00546

Plaintiff Magui was a student at Portland Community College (PCC) in the aviation maintenance technology program. During class, as the students prepared to inspect a turbine engine, Magui got his index finger caught in the rotor assembly and severed approximately a quarter inch of his finger tip off. Magui alleged that PCC was negligent for failing to adequately instruct, warn and supervise the students. He sought $10,453.00 for past medical expenses and $21,000.00 for non-economic damages. Defendant PCC denied liability.  PCC argued that Magui was not performing a class assignment but was carelessly playing with the engine and caused his own injury. Defense Verdict.

Barber v. Otis Elevator Company, Multnomah County Case No. 14CV19756

Plaintiff Barber was an employee at Providence Portland Medical Center. Defendant Otis Elevator Company had a contract to repair and maintain the elevators at the hospital. Barber got on an employee elevator to go down two floors. She alleged that the elevator made a sudden drop causing injuries to her back, shoulder, and legs, including rotator cuff and labrum tears which required surgical repair. She sought $36,445.34 in past medical expenses, $20,268.03 in wage losses, unstated amounts of future medical expenses and $1,500,000.00 in non-economic damages. Defendant denied negligence as there had been no recent complaints about the elevator and all the scheduled maintenance had been properly performed. Defendant also disputed the cause and extent of Barber’s injuries. Defense Verdict.

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